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DPS seizes over $2.3 million in U.S. currency and nearly $30 million worth of illegal drugs in the first quarter of 2010

DPS officers also seized 133 vehicles from suspected drug smugglers

Thursday, April 15, 2010 -

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Several traffic stops by Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers along with the efforts of DPS criminal investigators resulted in DPS seizing $2,368,036 in U.S. currency during the first quarter of 2010. The currency is tied to Mexican drug cartels, drug distribution, money laundering, and gang activity.

DPS also seized a total of 30,190 pounds of marijuana during this year’s first quarter and current street values put the amount of marijuana seized at $16,604,500. Furthermore, DPS Officers seized 146 pounds of methamphetamine this quarter with a street value of $2,774,000. In addition, DPS seized 313 pounds (142 kilos) of cocaine since the first of this year worth approximately $10,300,000. The total value of the illicit drugs seized by DPS during the first quarter of 2010 is over $29,442,000. DPS officers also seized 133 vehicles from drug smugglers during this same time.

One of the more significant seizures by DPS occurred on March 23, 2010, just before 1:00 p.m., a DPS Highway Patrol Commercial Vehicle Officer stopped a commercial tractor-trailer traveling north on Interstate 17 near Anthem for a traffic violation. The officer obtained written consent to search the commercial vehicle which revealed 1,384 pounds of marijuana in the trailer. The estimated street value of the marijuana is $761,200. The driver, John B. Fanning, 46 of Columbia, S.C., was arrested and booked into the Maricopa County Jail on charges of possession and transportation of drugs for sale as well as illegal control of an enterprise. The drugs and commercial vehicle were seized.

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The Arizona Department of Public Safety is a state-level law enforcement agency whose mission is to protect human life and property by enforcing state laws, deterring criminal activity and providing vital support to the State of Arizona and its citizens.